The Spectacle Blog

Cantor Survived Abramoff, Reed, Norquist

By on 1.13.06 | 1:36AM

Spoke to Eric Cantor of 7th Virginia tonight with regard to the revolting facts about a 2000 anti-Semitic smear campaign run against him during the Republican primary in his district. The facts from the investigation by both the Washington Post and Hotline point to Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist as the major figures behind the scenes manipulating a shadow 527 named the Faith and Family Alliance of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Faith and Family Values used up to $100,000 to distribute pamphlets and make robo-calls to constituents to say that Eric Cantor did not represent "Virginia values" and that his opponent was the "only Christian in the contest."

Cantor won by a few hundred votes in June 2000.

Cantor knew nothing of the generation of Faith and Family Values at the time. He especially did not know that Jack Abramoff used Faith and Family Values to launder internet gambling money (eLottery) to finance a cynical and successful lobbying effort to defeat a Congressional ban on internet gambling, and that the laundering process not only involved Reed and associates but also another major Republican op, Grover Norquist. The Black Hundreds character at Faith and Family Values who actually handled the checks in and out of the shell, Robin Vanderwall, is now serving a seven-year sentence for internet sex crime.

Cantor finally learned of the Abramoff-Reed-Norquist connection to Faith and Family Alliance from the Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi reporting in late 2005 in the Washington Post. Cantor told me that back in 2000 there was no requirement for transparency for a 527's donors.

The darkest turn in this tale is that in 2003 the back-stabbing Abramoff sponsored a fund-raiser at Abramoff's deli in Washington, praising Cantor to his face as a prominent liaison between Congress and the Orthodox Jewish and Christian evangelical communities.

Cantor also told me that he believes the DOJ is now deeply involved in investigating Faith and Family Alliance for its money manipulations. This means that the Abramoff scandal, with Abramoff obliged to cooperate with DOJ in exchange for a ten-year sentence, is looking not just at ten to twenty members of Congress, but is also pointed at Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist. No mention of Rove, not yet.

Cantor's unnecessarily humble response when prompted how he felt about the smear at the time, how he feels now to learn that Abramoff , Reed, Norquist were responsible in a labyrinthine fashion for maintaining (and probably funding) the Faith and Family Alliance, was to say, "Politics is a very interesting business."

I also asked him if the former majority leader DeLay spoke to him about the smear after the facts were published. No comment from DeLay.

Cantor is now a potent candidate for the elected post of Majority Whip. He is also a survivor of the grotesque Abramoff and others now scurrying from the light.

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